tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 9, 2015 1:00pm-3:01pm EDT
so, we are in a crisis chip. we don't have the social structure, we don't have lesch tomorrow care insurance, don't have the caring labor intact and people are coming into retirement with less money than their parents and grandparents. >> when you use the word crisis as you're using it i know this -- the crisis is more to institutions than people because i do think -- again i'm an optimist here -- i think we'll see the institutional change we need. let's start with the 401(k) plan. if you look at what really happened over the past 30 year the 401(k) plan is 35 years old. started in 1980. you had -- the boomers grew up
in a period of time where we were slowly moving to a system where they were funding all of the risks-all of the things we're talking about are risks that presents themselves in old age around retirement issues. when you're not working. let be specific. what do we mean by retirement? not able to sell your human capital in the marketplace anymore. that's what retirement means. either because you choose not to because you can afford not to or you can't. and that's what your alluding to. and so the boomers, i think -- my impression of what happened was we kind of over time are over the 30 years, offered the 401(k) system or made changes to make the 401(k) system the third leg of the retirement store. we had personal savings, social security, and the 401(k) system replacing pensions.
that caught boomers by surprise. a lot of them thought, thought this was like a little nice benefit at work. i didn't know this would be what i would live off of in retirement, and that came too late. so talking about why you can be optimistic about institutional reform, if you are a 25-year-old and you're entering the work force, due to legislation passed in 2006, you're automatically enrolled in a 401(k) plan. you are automatically put in a fund that is going to take a fair amount of investment risk when you're young and then move down over time so it's more conservative when you're older ex-so earn real money instead of just keeping up with inflation or falling behind. so your employer has the option of increasing your contribution rate over time, so my point in
bringing this up we have seen institutional reform an important part of the marketplace, and if you're 25-year-old, and you are in a well-designed plan -- i'm not saying all of them are well-designed but if you're in a well-designed plan you have a good chance of having that leg of the stool ready for you. things we need to work on doesn't cover people who don't have a job. doesn't cover people who have part-time jobs. so there's still room for a lot more reform and improvement in the system, but we have seen instances where there is that institutionsal reform. the last thing i say before i hand the mic back is that i want to come back to the point, we have everything that we're talking about, we're focusing on the boomers and the people in retirement. it's putting incredible stress on the entire system and the
millenials, too. so it's across the whole demographic, and i think if we don't think about it in that way, we're missing -- we're going to make mistakes how we reform the institutions and the biggest mistake we can make is asking the millenials to take on too much of the responsibility of what the institutional reforms -- who we're asking to pay for the institutional reforms. we don't want to develop a lot of intergenerational resentment and sense of unfairness that way. not just a boomer problem. it's a societal problem. >> the millenials have their own pressure. student loans, and working for companies that don't offer them 401(k)s, and they don't make enough to contribute that much. >> a lot of the starter jobs -- >> anything you want to comment.
>> one other thing i would say as we rethink this system i think i'm a little worried that the fine contribution our knew system of employer-provided pensions that are defined contribution -- it's not just an issue where the baby-boomers got caught offguard. i say this because i've been doing research with a colleague at the university of michigan's policy, and looking at defined contribution plan and how the fact they hey lou people to access the funds prior to retirement. how people behave. so we have been looking -- during the great recession, did people when faced with pressures associated with an economic downturn, start tapping into the moneys? we see that not a majority -- actually i guesshop how you measure it. at least in upwards of 50% tapping in in some way. so i know we have -- i feel like
the train has left the station and we have what we have, but if that's what we'll have we have to think about helping people think about are you sure you want to tap into that during a recession because that means it's not going to be there so it's not something just the baby-boomers who were caught off guard. those who have always been in the forum, we have to think about things because there's the temptation for people when there's a downturn to use this moneys but a the immediate consumption seems more important, paying rent and utility bills, routine bill payments and how that is associated with drawing down on your retirement savings. so this matters more for low-wage workers -- >> no, it doesn't. it's middle class workers and upper middle class workers who are attaching into their 401(k) plans, the loans or withdrawals or rollovers or cashouts. the low-income worker don't have
anything. the 401(k) has preyed on -- i'll use a word -- i want you to sharply focus on how different i am from chip. the 401(k) system is in many cases predatory system. the fees are high. the protection of money going into an ira is not protected like a few dish shear so we getting tax deferral money for retirement and it's being used not -- as a place to -- you are still in the institutional space, you do good things, but the 401(k) is a fatal flawed design system. it's voluntary. it's commercially run. all the money in it has to be fully liquid. even though it's suppose be for long-term savings. you can only match short-term
liquid accounts and can be withdrawn in a lump sum. we're the only country with tax defender retirement money that we allow withdrawals before retirement, because other countries said, we'll give you a tax break here, it's for retirement. you can't use it before retirement. hardships are supposed to be something that happen maybe once in a lifetime. to people with 401(k)s it happens every couple years. it's a savings plan, liquid savings plan not a retirement plan. one reason we have retirement crisis is because the 30-year experiment with the 401(k) system failed and we need a mandatory system on top of social security managed by good folks like black rock and all the other institutional investors. i wish all 25-year-olds were in retirement account but they're. no carol said most companies do not have a retirement plan, and it's falling. it's over 50% and it's falling over not just the recession,
since 2000. small employers, medium size employers, and even some big employers, from big portions of their employees, are not providing any retirement plan. so stop the $140 billion incentive to try to get people in it. stop these predatory fees. protect all retirement money that is in iras. that's the kind of radical reform. and expand social security, not reduce it. >> i will say there has been a movement in the 401(k) statement to index funds, target funds, that has -- there is more awareness of this, but -- >> i think a lot of -- are spot on and that's why i -- i knew she was going there. look, i am -- the joke i typically use is you look at
aca, very aspirational name, affordable care act. what does 401(k) mean? it's an another secure connection of the irs code. we never intended this to be the plan it is today. if we would have, we would have given it another name. so we have tried to make it good. my point in talking about the regulatory reforms is we made thingest improvement to the 401(k) system since its inception about eight years ago, and i think that social reforms have shown promise. but to the point, it's not a retirement plan. what is a real retirement plan do? retirement plan allows you as an individual to take away the uncertainty about when you're going to die. and -- it says i'm going to get paycheck for life. so, how many people in this room know how long -- when they're going to die, right?
none of us know. [laughter] >> nobody really knows when they're going to die. so what we should do as a room is we should say, let's put our money together, and we're all going to pay out and we're going to average out our life expectancies and the unfortunately people who die earlier than expected will subsidies and that i hope for whom that happen, to that's not your last thought. i don't think it is. many people's lost thought is, my money is going to that person. but that -- then people who live longer get to receive the money from the people who died earlier than expected. that's the only way that we have ever been able to figure out how to diversify the uncertainty about how long you're going to live. that makes such a difference in the efficiency how long your money can go if you're going to suffer rerequirement retirement
risk. you're expected to live to 85. that's average. who is to say you're expected to live. the we should prepare beyond average. certainly one case where not everybody is going to be above average. so you're basically saving more money and spending less,or l your money is going less further than it do if you're in a mortality structure, which i described -- which is how social security works, it is how old defined benefit plans worked. in that system your money went a third farther. so when talk about a savings crisis, people are saying i'm saving as up as i can. i can't say that much more. if we can figure out how to make that money go farther in retirement that would be a relief on the pressure of starting to save more. and that's what db plans did. so the biggested to would be
putting aside dish want to be clear -- there are some badly designed dc plans that have bad fees. the fees are too expensive. and want to be clear about that. we are a big believers in transparency and fees and that you can solve this problem with index funded, low-cost index funds, but having said that your money goes a third further in retirement through the use of a well-constructed mortality pool. it's been impossible to get that in the 401(k) system and that's the thing i think would go very far. and things like some of the work that teresa has done around -- would be a great way to kind of be an investment vehicle. that mortality pools could invest in. and we thinking the whole idea of a mortality plan.
so insurance companies are -- have their own issues in dregs the dc market. so, that could really be -- make a big difference in solving this problem. >> thank you. >> i think we should -- let's move to -- there is this savings crisis, a lot of people don't have the money so people are really working longer. they're trying to work longer, trying to hang in there and there's huge variety here, and does anyone want to talk to that issue of job market, how people are perceived, when they're older, and yet some of the choices people are creating for themselves. >> yes. so we focus at encore on a -- the place we're looking at it not just people who are working longer but people working longer and have a social impact along
with their longer working lives. so we're not looking at the whole market. but from where i sit i am looking at an example of working longer in the second around. wrote a book and one of the people i profiled is here, so i feel compelled to tell his story. fred sitting right there with the glasses on his head retired as a new york city parole officer at the age of 55 and has been working 30 years since in a variety of ways. he is now in his early 80s. he lets me say that because he trusts me, and he is still looking for a new job as we speak. so early in his career, he got a degree in social work at nyu, and he went and became -- had a long distinguished career in law enforcement, and when he retired he did a bunch of things that are common for people who want to continue to work, who are healthy enough to work, and they can support.
thes for another 30 years. yes, he had a pension, but he needed extra money and he faced they many things people face. a caregiver, which is another issue that comes up for people in life. so i feel like fred personifies so much of what we're talking about. he was motivated by doing something that mattered. he hooked up with an organization which places people who are over 55 with nonprofits and government agencies and works with people who may not need to make what they used to make but still need to make money and want to contribute and want that purpose, and he does work, the kind of work that human beings are needed to do and he really went back to his social work roots and spent a lot of time at the hospital, working in a group as a health-care navigator, a new job on the rice. health care is 2009 only -- is
one of the only growing fields we see. freds trajectories similar to what we're talking about but fred is not able to take a break. this is continuing but it provides meaning as well as the financial safety net needed. so the other thing that he did that i have seen people do in a lot of different ways he went back to improve his skills and he went to the police academy in his 50s i believe, and became a detective in brooklyn for a period after he had retired from bag parole officer. so we're doing a lot of work -- starting with community colleges working with four-year institutions to figure out the kinds of skills enhancement people need to invest in themselves and the market. so if you have to continue to work you're going to need probably a different set of skills. so, when with say that institutions have to change, another set of institutions that really need to change are learning institutions.
how are they going to help this generation of people who can't afford a four-year degree or master degree but certificate programs short-term training and it's skilling you up for the jobs that are here today, not the jobs that existed 30 years ago when you first went into the job market. so a lot of different things. >> did you want to add to this? >> no. >> one things i have seen in the people i have interviewed in the last year or two is first of all, a degree of variety of all those people. they're all in their 60s and older, and have had been taking care of. thes in a new way. they can't retire, or they have to downsize significantly, it's one of the other, either keep work organize downsize significant limit one thing that i'm struck by, and one person is a former executive who is flipping hamburgers at a golf course in this late 70s now, and did that during the
recession but pulled himself back in and loved his job. likes the activity of it. another woman quite younger, 62 but lost a couple of jobs in the early job loss. she had to downsize significantly and is living in a friend's base independent cape cod and working at a game for $13 an hour some and she has a different view on her life. is it more stressful than her former corporate life but living in cape cod. we are seeing a degree of resilience required in older age that maybe was always need. i'm curious if anybody wants to talk about the psychology of this. >> we looked at thousands of people, and what i'm finding is
that people do want to live, and what we call psychological cognitive dissidence. if you're living in a friend's basement and only making $13 an hour and can't do anything about it, very natural thing to do is tell a reporter, things are fine, i'm more relaxed, but what we do find in the data set is that if people lost a job involuntarily at any age especially older, their rate of depression goes up and seems to actually affect they're rate of morbidity, which is how many activity's of davely living you need and affects mortality. so we're seeing how you're treated in the labor market is affecting mental health and physical hasn't. we're also finding -- this startled me, carol -- that the jobs that older people have now are actually getting worse. on three dimensions.
i feel i don't have control over my time at work and that it's a question about being monitored. a lot more supervision, a lot more jobs at the lower hierarchy. that we know from the studies. i you're at the lower -- hire aki, more -- and more lifting and stooping than before, and we think that's linked to many older people taking warehousing jobs if anybody saw the harpers article about work campers, working in ameioses -- working in amazon warehouses. so i love the resilience of the human brain so say whatever i'm doing is just great but the real effects in terms of mental health and inflammation, stroke,
i risk is correlated bier the downward mentality. >> let me throw his out there. one of the things -- you're talking about the woman living in someone else's basement. i do a lot of research on racial differences and ownership patterns and wealth. and one of the thing is think about also in recommendation to my research and my mother differences in home ownership rates. part of our glorified story in retirement we had this idea that people would have a home they paid off and so i'm concerned because i'm starting to think about, also, for some sense of the population, they're reaching old age and don't have that bill they no longer have to take care of. they have a rent check. then i worry about your friend that is fine right now ten years from now when she harts to
have health issues and can't work, that to contend with that we didn't think about in the past. we thought people won't have a rent check or mortgage payment and have more to live on, and that's an issue we have to deal with as a society as well. >> the rising rates of people with -- >> the other thing, too -- i think we'll get better at understanding this -- is the presumption that you can kind of just continue to work. and we saw the exception here, and kudos. i want to talk to you afterwardses and find out your secretes. we know that there's a great economist at harvard, and when he speaks he studies cognitive decline in people as they get older, and it kind of starts in your 50s and accelerates through your 60s and 70s, and --
>> careful. >> exhibit that terrible -- i tell him never put -- when you speak at our event, never put this up. because half the room starts immediately saying oh my god he's right. i can't remember -- i'm failing the test he is asking us to take. and so -- but the takeway from that why did the notion of retirement come about to begin with? it came about in the late 1800s early 1900s because companies that were as industrialization took effect and people were rating big machineries like locomotive, if you dent give people the opportunity to leave, they wouldn't. so you have people with cognitive difficulties driving train cars. so that was how the early retirement system came about here in the u.s. and so i think we need to get a
really good handle on, to the extent there is a crisis where is the most effective way of having the institutional reforms and i think one of them is we need to understand there's some people that are going need assistance. flat out. but there always have been people who need assistance there may be more. but also people who are going to be able to work a little longer if we can create the right labor conditions but we need to make sure they're making the right financial decisions while they still can, i guess is the best way to say it, and create the labor market situation such as they can do that. because what we don't want is people making important financial decisions as society when they're in their 80s. that's probably based on the research we know today, not go going lead to good results. >> given we're all handling our finances and owl -- our health more individually how important are close family ties and the
difference -- people who don't have that versus people who have that? it's a little off the panel but i do think it becomes more important as you age to have people helping you. >> so, for me, i always try to take it back who is insure are your risks? you can hire a company to do that. buy long-term care insurance if you're in a situation to do that but another form of insurance is your family and it kind of comes with people who have enough money, i'll give you -- you'll get what is left over if i spend it all i'm coming back on you. so it's this odd little tiny insurance pool of family members. >> let's declare it's daughters and daughter-in-laws. adult daughters and daughter-in-laws.
the traditional gender division of labor and whatever reason but it turns out to be, finding out that the people who are take -- taken care of by the daughters and daughter-in-laws do a little better even though they're worse off to begin with or wouldn't be taken care of. so it's hard to disentangle. but it's actually pretty bad for the woman who is trying to -- she is working, because most woman work and actually do the care taking. it is even worse when they are take caring of little kids, so it does very palpably hurt adult women labor force conditions and doing projections, hurting her own retirement. so actually not having good care systems and having people with indiana quit income is hurting the next generation of working women and their families. and their own retirement for the next generation. i am going to going think of something
optimistic to say before -- i haven't figured it out yet. >> we do want to leave time for questions, but before we do that i've kept hearing this phrase of 65 is the new 50 and i wanted to ask everyone here what they thought about that, and their view of whether it's good or bad or makes them think -- do you want to comment on that? we say, 65 is basically the new 65 -- 55 is the new 65. so trying to attach these earlier years, one thing you're doing is you are kind of discounting the role that experience can play in life. you just said that. we need to kind of put new value on the aging population. that's the only way to end age
discrimination, so owning your age as you age is a very important piece for ending age discrimination. so we need to out ourselves, and that's what i was talking about. we're not comfortable with this. we all have to be really comfortable with that. >> so, i think individually we're better off today than we were when probably you chose the 50 benchmark, on average more healthy, had more human capital, were willing to -- looking for opportunities to use it. institutionally, our institutions are in need of help so you have that capablity. you have that potential that you're not able to use and you're in a situation because of the things that changes that we made in the retirement system itself. you may be worse off. than the 50-year-old was a few year ago.
so good parts, you have the opportunity to perhaps live longer and live better as you live longer, but you're doing that in maybe couldn't text that needs some repair. so i think these kinds of events, these discussions, are where the changes are happening in those institutions. >> i'm teresa and i'm 57 -- [laughter] >> when i think of that phrase 65 is the new 50 i think 65 is the new 17 bus those are the jobs they're taking. they're working alongside the 17-year-olds. what i really like what you said that 55 is the new 50, the new 17 because there's a lot of worker training that people want access to, not even just incenters but also at their employment. so, one of the unfinished business of the age
discrimination act is that there's no discrimination by employers on how much training they give their current workers. so even though i can say toow i'm teresa and i'm 57, of you're at work, don't do that. the strategy would be i would tell everybody specially if you're a woman, do everything you can to act young sore you get training. -- younger so you get training. you might be right. or join a union and -- >> hired older people if you're in a position to hire. >> well, that -- >> as an activist on this issue. hire -- >> if i have -- you need a lot of capital to hire in that percent of the population. >> i think companies are aware of that. working with a global coalition on aging and they're developing a set of principles and have a surprisingly large number of
well-known companies subscribings to principles about exactly the issues you're talking about. >> i totally agree and there's hope. >> optimism! >> that the business training that happens on is on the job. >> one optimistic answer and pessimistic. i think -- 6 is a the new 50 and that's positive for some people and negative for others. i think some people it's going to be great they can have these meaningful -- and then i think about the situation i'm in i'll be pouterring someone else for a long time it's my mother. so my brothers and i love my mother and we're excited about that. on the other hand if we look at our peers we went to school with, private school and college, and how much wealth do we have compared to them. they have parents who still give them money even when they have kids and they're making the
payments -- i think some people, 65 is the new 50, is not as -- not as positive an experience. >> 35 could be the new 50. >> maybe institutions, we have to become that the variation in experience. >> also, we're not collectively defines by age anymore either. >> that's right. it's very different. >> the commonalities that are not age defined that are come ought in the conversation. >> i would like to open this up for questions. it's been a great panel. we want to give you time to take questions and you can ask anyone. >> i'm going to out myself. i'm michelle and i'm 66. >> yay michelle. >> i'm very clear, i'm so glad
to see this panel because i don't really see a lot of talk about this honestly meaningful talk. i'm very clear that despite what is called the recovery mainstreamers is struggling to put food on the table. most people are. and i have a different mindset but one thing i believe in is this ability to brainstorm and thing of things you loaf to do that you're good at and create income streams, and i'm surprised there isn't more discussion about that because it could be something as simple as walking dogs. i love animals. when my business was slow i put up a card, made a little card for in money called, the pet nanny, and i went around and walked dogs. why?
i made no money but made me feel like i was doing something. so i don't see enough of that. i think the problem is the mindset is that everybody feels like the ground was pulled out from under them. every single thing we thought would about no longer pi and it's a real -- people cannot recover from it, and people need to hear messages about the fact that they can create meaningful alternatives, maybe not what they thought but -- >> so, coming back i just mentioned the global coalition on aging and having a discussion with representatives there and i was surprised at this. they indicated that the fastest growing entrepreneurial segment are people in your age group, that we all read about the internet heroes making a lot of
money, but the fastest growing segment is your -- >> and in that population much is what is called microbusiness very, very small operations like your dog-walking operation. >> another question up here. >> i'm plan d. [inaudible] >> we have to sort out the issues you have all been confronting. there are people who are working in jobs where experience is valued, the legal provision one of them. i don't know -- the legal profession is one of them. i don't know if you got your licenses in that. i think that people who have lost their jobs, it's not fire call that a retirement problem. that's a problem with our
economy. that's related to this enormous inequality and our strange tax code. changing the retirement age for social security is fine for middle class folks who have not done more than pick up a pencil or used a computer. i think it's probably wrong for people who are in physical jobs. i thought the idea of -- that you could have about using mortality for 401(k)s -- i'm fortunate enough to hear it before. i've been curious as to whether the government would insure investments like -- supposed be backed up by government insurance. i think we need to sort out how we treat the various issues, how we may need jobs for people would otherwise have been
employed in manufacturing when we have -- maybe all these problems that we hear about asian manufacture of batteries and asia -- air bags will bring us back to manufacture neglect country but that's a very long way back. i wish we could address this without calling it a retirement problem. >> you made the point much better than i did. we're -- we're seeing the effects of a lot of the issues you talked about, and sometimes we're calling it retirement sometimes calling it the recession, layoffs sometimes calling it technology sometimes call it globalize. >> it's all all interlinked and you talked about dealing with your mother, that's part of the same thing, what is happening to the boomers is affecting younger
people, and will affect the young are -- even younger people. so it is all linked. i can tell you -- i know you have a ton of stories but policymakers spend a lot of time dealing with these issues and they're very concerned about it but they also only have a certain amount of political capital. just to be frank. the political capital they can spend, and so just we have made proposals around putting -- letting people pool their mortality uncertainty in 401(k) plans seven or eight years ago. dol and treasury gave guidance on that three weeks ago. so it's been seven years. one reason why they knew exactly what to do, really bright people.
one reason why they felt like they couldn't do it in behind closes doors is saying we spent most of the political capital we had on healthcare reform and felt like we needed to do that. so those are the -- just kind of talking about people are talking about it people are aware of it trying to address it in a more realistic way, but it's -- you fought good fights on -- >> i have -- the federal government is not doing anything but in 17 states and one city rip city, new york city, it setting up a plan to have everybody in the state and the city join a retirement plan. that would be basically a public option. that would be an option to the commercial system that it would be low fees and pooled mortality groups. california passed a law two years ago state of connecticut,
scott stringer, the controller of new york city and the mayor is in favor of it, and this is the way social policy happens in the united states. you have a handful of states, important states that have something that looks like unemployment insurance, workers compensation and social security, and then gets lifted up to the federal level. so i'm optimistic about employers doing more training to workers and i'm optimistic about there being a government solution to the pooled mortality issue. i'm not optimistic about the one issue you brought up. that before we start talking about people over 65 getting work, we have to make sure that the 25 to 65-year-olds are fully employed, and we now have 15 million people who are underemployed or out of work even though near a so-called recovery. so, that is priority number one. [inaudible] >> employer of last resort, something my colleague -- the private sector won't great good jobs the government could.
that debate -- >> the political capital issue. >> the other thing we haven't talked about tonight which has been extremely impactful to retirees' balance sheets, is what is happening to interest rates. so we built an index that tells people at 55 to 75 what's the fair cost of your retirement liability. that index is up this year about 18%. if your assets didn't go -- for 55-year-olds. let me be clear. if your assets didn't grow by 18%, you actually fell behind in what this assets can produce for you in retirement. >> wow. >> that's a lot. so the low interest rate environment that we have right now -- and again, there's -- dem graphically, you are starting to
see more studies that say is this going to be a very long-term effect. >> we're trying to create jobs with low interest rates but not doing a good job and it's causing more retirement insecurity so why no go to wpa. >> exactly. >> ya ya. >> die need to out myself? >> it's up to you. >> i'm 59 years old and only 17 years old. i've been following this conversation with really, really great interest because you guys are hitting on some very, very big subjects here, deep subjects and one of the points raised was' income streams and finding ways of being entrepreneurial and that is a bigger issue which is -- i'm curious what your data your search has led to which is the issue of risk.
i've been fortunate to be able to create these income streams, live a great life, blah, blah blah but it comes with risk and the risk applies not only to the search for meaningful work but the risk related to aggressive quote-unquote investing that is required to produce returns in the high teens. that is not what we were trained to do or what our education and our quote-unquote wisdom led to us believe. so the issue of risk, and i'm curious. >> job market risks? financial risks. the investment risk you made the wrong decision the longevity risk and the healthcare costs risk. we all face it but we're all going to have very different experiences with them. what you do with risk? you provide insurance.
we are trying to solve that with just having everybody accumulate a lot of assets. what we really need is the self-insurance, we need pooled assets. >> and i think as an industry financial service industry or the academic community, we have spent the last 50 years since the defendant of the mono fought portfolio, we have been concerned with managing investment risk and a diversified portfolio, understanding risk appropriate for your age and sayings and goals. we're not that good at talking about the risk, just laid out. you can address them more holistic include. we at black rock are working on these issue but it comes with the conversations -- when i talked about building a more rye
dye verse identified port polio issue might as we have been speaking a foreign language 30 years ago. we have to get to place where we're managing retirement risks. i'm confident we'll get but one of my recuring -- we're just not there yet. >> the only other risk -- it does affect longevity drs is minimizing health risk, and employers and health insurance companies are trying to incentivize health. one company is about the reimbursement you can get. you can get money back for joining a gym. so -- this is starting to become a really more common image that we're seeing and that is just another way that risk plays in,
that's going affect us all as we live longer. >> one more question question. >> i just wanted to comment on something that teresa said that had very strong feelings for me. the psychological knowledge of not working getting depressed. this is what -- two things. retirement is not a word in my vocabulary. if i hear somebody say retirement, i close my ears. the sect aspect is fear. i recently -- one of my many communications i mentioned that i'm working because i need to, and i'm afraid what's going to happen if i don't work. i don't want to sit and watch people go to work. i have this strong need to feel like i'm part of the main stream. i'm afraid. i really am framed. we're talking about age. i'm going to be 82 in a couple of weeks and i don't think
about my age. who is hiring people who are 82? you know what? i go out and say i don't think about my age. it's what i can do, what i can bring to the job and that is important. you mentioned the psychological effect. so i can't speak for others i can only speak for myself. a lot of people that i know, my peers, who are retired, i think what are you doing with yourself? this and that. it's your attitude. i say i'm still working. i'm part of the crowd. >> i get it. i get it. thanks. >> people say, what are you going to do with yourself? nothing else in the world to do? write a brief. i think that is gender -- i
think people of my generation understand that we have lots of wonderful things to do and especially if you're lucky enough to live in new york city. i don't think you should worry about it. [laughter] >> wow, what an envy -- that's a great ending. >> thank you for this terrific panel, and the terrific audience. it's been wonderful. >> thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations] a bit of 2016 political
news. lincoln chaffy announcing he is considering a democratic presidential campaign, saying he wants voters to assess the character and experience of those offering ideas. and rick santorum as formally launched a quote testing the waters account to consider a 2016 presidential bid a move his campaign has confirmed with cbs move, marks his firmest steps toward launching a bid for the g.o.p. presidential nomination. we'll get an announcement monday from marco rubio, senator from florida, expected to announce his run for the nomination monday in miami. c-span will have live coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m. and will be the third republican to officially enter the presidential race. this inning on c-span 2 q & a with ann compton talking about the presidents she has
covered from gerald ford to barack obama, at 7:00 eastern. booktv timetime at 8:00 with authors writing about education, and then at 9:00, on the book "cheated" the unc scandal. the education of athletes. and at 10:00 why schools are obsessed with standardized testing but you don't have to be. begins at 8:00. >> here some over of our features programs for this weekend. on c-span 2 booktv saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern, president of americans for tax reform grover nordquist, says americans are tired of ther is and is our tax system. and sunday night at 8:00, author susan butler about franklin roosevelt and joseph stalin, and their unexpected partnership beyond the war. and saturday night at
8:00 eastern on american history tv on c-span3, on lectures and history, university of virginia's college of wise professor jennifer murray on how civil war veterans reunions have changed, and at 1:00, american history tv is live, commemorating the anniversary of the confederate surrender and the end of the civil war. >> c-span's profiles of freshmen congressman continue now with arizona democracy ruben gallego. he earned a scholarship to harvard but alert dropped tout join the marines and fight in iraq. he talks about his experiences, his family and his new life in washington. this is a little over 20 minutes. >> congressman ruben gallego from arizona's seventh congressat district. a freshman representative. what is it like?
>> guest: it's very fascinating. every day brings a new challenge. every day i get to do something very interesting, and every day i miss home a little more but i'm glad i'm here. i feel like i'm doing good work for my district, and i hope to be here for a long time. >> host: how does somebody bosh in chicago end up in arizona. >> guest: i followed a woman out there, who is now my wife but essentially what happened was i -- i was in new mexico with my wife, and i was activated and sent to iraq, and when i returned my wife had established herself fairly well in arizona with a good job and a house, and i had just left the military leaving the marines, objects your done you're done, so i didn't have a job or place to live and so arizona was a very good option at that point. >> host: let's take a step back. your family originally from mexico and central america.
>> guest: and colombia. >> host: came to the u.s. when? >> guest: my mom came in the '7s so and my dad came in the late '7's. >> host: why chicago? >> guest: chicago is a good place for immigrants at that point, still is. a lot of industrial based, good-paying jobs, cheap housing and it was just really good draw. the second or third largest latino population in the country. >> host: raised bay single movement your dad left when. >> guest: around the age of 11. >> host: any memories of him? >> guest: many memories of him. that made it more painful. i ready looked up to him. he worked at construction sites and on a farm and i looked up to him as a father figure, because he was my father figure, but when everything went south, he
also went -- kind of went bad, i don't think he reacted well to it and his company shut down and that caused problems. and that's why it hurts so much to see someone i looked up to really abandon us and abandon who i thought he was. >> can. >> host: can i ask what happened? >> guest: he had a construction company that was employing a lot of people and didn't get paid by some contractors and didn't pay his taxes and everything fell afar and then he started selling drugs, and just -- and for somebody who i thought was a good moral compass, ended up not being that. >> host: how did your mom keep everything together? >> guest: i couldn't tell you to this day. she's done an amazing job. it was -- some really tough -- it was tough, and i remember some hard times and she is an amazing woman. today is her birthday actually.
>> host: happy birthday to your mother. if you could talk to your dad today, what would you tell him? >> guest: nothing. i've moved on. i took his spot and i had to become father figure for my sisters at a very young age, and i've closed that chapter in my life and here to move on and be a good husband and hopefully be a good father too. >> host: you went to harvard. how did that combat? it's not a cheap school. >> guest: no. i realized, especially once everything was said and done we were pretty poor, and order for me to go to college i had to get some scholarships and i realized that i had to make sure i got the best grades possible and scored the best on my tests. so my freshman year of highly committed myself i was going apply to harvard.
and if i got ready for that, i could get a scholarship and go to college. i started taking exams any freshman year of high school. i started reading as much as i can how to apply to college, and so i applied to harvard and i dade lot of research -- did a lot of research to make myself qualified, and i ended up doing very well on my tests. passed a lot of ap examples and applied and we got in and they gave me nearly a full ride and i got into a lot of schools with the same thing. so my goal was accomplished to get there, and not to be a burden on my family. >> during the process what advice did your mom gave me? >> guest: it was more emotional support than anything else. for my -- my mom is a hard-working person but had
applied college out of high school -- community college but it was difficult for her to understand the paperwork. now she gets. but when i was the first one it was more difficult. but she gave me a lot of emotional support, believing that i can do it, and also just making me stay focused too. while i'm working and also studying, she made me realize there's also an important focus, which is family making sure i still had time for my sisters and my mom and realizing that is what matters in life. >> host: you're in half. out got o -- high school. you get the letter accepted at harvard. what was reaction? >> guest: i was shocked. i was working at a hot dog stand and i knew what time the mail came, and my boss let me go -- who came to my swearing in -- he let me go home to look at the
mail, and i saw the letter, the big packet chase good seen. don't know -- which is a good sign, and i called my mom and she was still at work and she started crying and i told my sisters and then went back to work and my boss is very proud of me, and i guess i went back to work that day, but it was -- flipping those burgers was -- i had a little more step to my pep when i was flipping those burgers that day. >> host: hough did your mom support you? >> guest: what do you mean? >> host: over the years you said she had many job snooze she was a secretary for most of her life, a legal secretary. shoe supported me emotionally. she worked some very hard jobs as a legal secretary and then an administrative secretary and those are great experiences for me growing up, being able to go to work with her and see
professional people walk around, wearing suits, and for me it was a good example because growing up, the idea of work was about whether you can accomplish some kind of construction goal. everyone in our family was carpenters and for some reason i thought that's what was supposed to be, construction worker and so of course that's a good honorable work and pays well but i didn't know there -- other options so being exposed to other professionals was really important, and my mom really taught me about the dignity of work. we didn't make much but she did teach me that we should be proud that we're working honest jobs. she brought home enough pay. we never were lacking for food. our clothing wasn't fancy but we always left the house looking
like a million bucks even though our clothing was not a million bucks, because what mattered was how we cared ourself. >> host: do you remember of the name of the hamburger extend you work at. >> guest: seuss sis -- suzies after says still there. >> host: what did that teach you've about customer service and due you apply that to politics? >> guest: a lot of what i was doing was in the back. i was flipping burgers and making hot dogs. but what it did teach me was because of the interactions you had every day. people come in, wore coming into the restaurant, to all walks of lives, and a lot of them were having bad days, coming from work or going to work. what it taught me is i needed to treat everyone the same no matter what. even if you're being mean that day, even if you're having a great day or bad day, i'm going to treat you professionally. make you the best hot dog or
best sandwich or best hamburger. but a lot of the other jobs i've had, have always taught me, if you treat people professionally you'll get treated the same in return, and even if you're not you're better off being professional about it. >> host: what was the most popular item on the hot dogs? >> guest: well, the hot dogs were more popular than the burgers. the hot dogs are chicago-style. in n our area, people put peppers on hot dogs, and most people won't put that on but it was pretty good. >> you're at harvard, and then you withdraw to join the marine corps. why? >> i just wasn't really getting along well at harvard. it wasn't harvard's fault but the culture was just drastically different for me. it was a rich school. some great studentsed there and some very middle class students and they got along very well. i had a very tough adjustment.
and a lot of things i look back on but i think i had always imagined myself going to harvard. i felt that is what i was supposed to do. in reality i always wanted to join the marine corps and to serve my country, and my back of my mind i would join the marine corps first and then go to college, and i got on this track and it was going to keep taking me somewhere and putting off my goal which was to join the marines. so i found myself being unhappy and it was time to do what i wanted to do, so i left and joined the marines reserves. so you do your training, boot camp, and then you return to school, and that's what i did, and never regretted it since. >> host: once a marines always a marine. >> guest: absolutely. >> host: what do you remember about your time in the military? >> guest: just the friends i made. and the friends i lost.
i got to serve with some of the -- sorry. i served with some great men, and i don't think i would be surrounded by people that great again. >> host: what did they teach you? >> guest: they taught me about humility. my friend taught me about really being there for each other and the marines taught me about discipline and organization, but that was the marine corps. the marines i served with taught me about what it truly means to care about another human being. ...
and i think we were also in an area should have had more manpower than what we had but you know, to this day the fact that lost such, such close friends, that still haunts me. >> host: you and others here in congress debate military spending and what the military has or needs, how do you apply your experiences to the debate here? >> guest: i look at the budget from perspective of the ground-pounder and up, infantryman. i think every operation whether it ends or begins is going to
involve the infantry and, you know, when it comes to the budget i always look at how is this going to affect that one infantryman? everything needs to be supportive of that. so when it comes to what type of airplanes the air force should be buying, i will look at what does the infantry guy need because at the end of the day most likely the ordnance they will dropping from is going to be used. and lastly i think just bringing my perspective as an enlisted ma man, commitments to our military personnel that are retiring. i heard talk how we change to give our benefits and formulas to retirees and their dependents. i know for a fact as a member, as veteran, a member of the military there is nothing more disheartening in the military, where you were told certain
things no, that not the case because we have to change because of budget priorities. there is no budget priority how fast we get into a war zone and how much there was to spend on a war. i think the same thing has to happen when it comes to military benefits. what you promised somebody is what they should be getting. they shouldn't take these shortcuts. >> host: as a member of congress you deal with a lot of information and constituents. how do you filter through all the data, letters emails, report, bills that you have to read? >> guest: i don't really sleep much. kind of been my nature. i do like, you know, being motivated and stimulated. i actually enjoy getting a lot of information. and, i don't you know most of the time it surfaced but when i need to go deeper i will start asking questions. for me i actually enjoy it. it is actually enjoyable to hear
from my constituents. even when something gets into the weeds i like the challenge. and a lot of it is more about the speed i love my staff but sometimes they can't keep up with me. i feel bad because they're human. i'm human too but you know it's, i just do it. i don't really think about it because it's for me it is part of the joy and it is enjoyable. >> host: is this job what you expected so far? >> guest: some degree i guess. i come from the arizona legislature, you understand what it means to be in the minority but there are other aspects of it i really enjoyed right now. we're working on the peace process to be helpful to the u.s. government on that, being first colombian-american ever elected to congress. good for to us get involved. being on the armed services committee has been helpful listening in to try to figure
out what to do with aumf and the defense budget, getting into the weeds on that has been enjoyable but very difficult. then just kind of being involved in all sorts of small projects. it has been a lot of fun. even while we have a very obstructionist congress lead by the republicans, we found ourselves to be, found different ways to be productive for the district and the state as a whole. >> host: how did you meet your wife kate? >> guest: she bought me at a date auction. >> host: tough explain. what happened? >> guest: well, she was she was walking back from some late-night class she was taking. she saw her girlfriend on the streets walking to some event. they hadn't seen each other forever. her friend invited her to come to this event t was a date auction being done by sororities and fraternities at harvard to benefit the 9/11 fund.
this is right after september 11th two 2001. i happened to be auctioned off that night. coincidentally, this woman was a mutual friend of ours but we never met. my wife and i had never met to this point. i started getting auctioned off. my good friend urged kate to bid on me. it was going well. i was wonder hog this beautiful woman was bidding on me. i kind of starting to get bid up more by other friends in the room to make sure i didn't get embarrassed. as bidding was going up, she stopped bidding but a friend was about to win me, i asked the auctioneer to ask kate one more time. because i wanted to see who this lovely woman was. and he did. and kate said that she had run out of money. that's why she stopped bidding.
if she bids for me one more time, i will pay half. she agreed. that is how he ended up going out on first date a week later. ever since pretty good. >> host: how much did they raise on your bid? >> guest: $44. that was second most. one guy beat me. he raised more money. >> host: was your mom here when you took the oath of office? >> guest: absolutely. >> host: what was that like for her? >> guest: for her it was a great he will feeling. i don't think there is anything we can do to reiterate how great of a job she has done. her proudest moment to see all four of her kids graduate from college. that is very hard to do now adays. the fact that she did it, did it with, by herself really shows her strength and, what a great mother she has been. but obviously i think these
kinds of things make her very happy that she knows i'm fulfilling either a goal or accomplishing a step. i have another sister now who is in medical school, right? so she i'm sure that will trump this. as soon as one of my officers become as doctor, she will be the favorite of the family. but i think i think my mom was very proud, mostly for me but you know, the think she needs to know she did a great job. >> host: when you took the oath of office, what was going through your mind? what were you thinking? >> guest: i had three members of from platoon hold the the bible. what was going through my mind, you know what? i'm here. it is my charge to do my best for my country and for my district. and i was thinking about the weight of that of that pressure. and that i needed to fulfill i think what people wanted me to
do, to be a strong advocate for everyday people and for veterans and not shy away from the fight. >> host: how do you know whether achieved that? what is your benchmark? >> guest: how many facebook posts i get. just kidding. i think at the end of the day for me a lot of times if i feel that i put it, put it all on the table, that i have pushed where i can push, and even if i failed, that i know that i did give it my best. and that is just an internal gut check that i have all the time. that is the way i do it. and just looking in the mirror and saying did i do what i would, you know, what other people would be proud of and if i have to answer yes or no to that and hopefully i can answer it honestly. >> host: finally you said being a husband and a son and father
some day? >> guest: hopefully yes, but not yet. >> host: what would you tell your kids about your career so far? >> guest: i would tell them that i am blessed that i was born in this country and it has given me this opportunity. opportunity is given. you have to opportunity will give you 50% of the way. you have to go the other 50%. just because i made it doesn't mean i can rest here. now the people that got heme here the people that did not make it how i can be of service to their families. i think somebody that served in the military i especially owe it to a lot of our veterans that i stay here to do my job to help them and help their families. >> host: congressman gallego of arizona, thank you for your time. >> guest: thank you so much. >> this evening here on c-span2
on core showing of q&a. former abc news reporter and white hoist correspondent ann compton talks about covering presidents from gerald ford to barack obama. that begins at 7:00 eastern. at 8:00 booktv prime time. tonight authors who have written about education starting with who wrote, more than a score. then at 9:00 eastern mary willingham and jay smith cheated, the scandal and athletes in future of big time sports. the author of the test. why our schools are obsessed with standardized testings but you don't have to be. >> this sunday on "q&a," senior editor for "the weekly standard," andrew ferguson on his writing career the gop presidential candidates for 2016, and what voters are looking for in a candidate. >> they want somebody who looks like he's stood up for them.
i'm amazed now to the degree to which primary voters on both sides are motivated by resentment and, the sense of being put upon. and you know those people really don't understand us. and here's a guy who does understand us and he will stick it to them. that happens on both sides. hillary clinton will give her own version of that kind of thing. i don't think that was actually true 30 years ago. i mean, resentment always has been part of politics obviously but the degree to which it is almost exclusively the motivating factor in truly-committed republicans and democrats. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's q&a. >> c-span has been talking with new members of congress while the house and senate are on their spring recess. next republican will hurd of
texas. he is the first african-american republican to represent texas since reconstruction and served abroad for a number of years in the cia. he talks about his family background education and his views on national security. this is almost half an hour. >> host: congressman will hurd from the 23rd congressional district of texas. a district that includes, what, approximately 5000 square miles 800 miles of border along texas and mexico. how do you manage that? >> guest: i put a lot of miles on the car. it is a big district, 29 county, two time zones. as you said, 800 miles of the border. it is gigantic. but that is one of the reasons why i love this district. we have some beautiful parts of the state. this is why, you know, pretty much a no-name new fresh face was able to win this district
was because the amount of time we spent crisscrossing it. not afraid to burn up miles on my car and shoe leather. that is what makes this exciting. >> host: give us a sense of the demographics of the district, some cities or towns and what struck you most as you traveled through your campaign? >> guest: san antonio is the most populous city in the district. i was born and raised. my parents still live into the house i was born into. that is on the eastern end of the district. on the western end is el paso also a large city. covered by two members congress. in tweens you have towns like hondo, alpine. you have big bend national park. and it is about a 67% hispanic distribute. so, you know, you have such a rural part and you have the urban center of san antonio and el paso. on one end of the district people have one opinion and in the middle it's a very different
opinion. the thing that struck me the most when i was crisscrossing these 29 counts people care about national security. they're worried about the future and they're worried about the safety of their children and their family. that was great because of my background. i spent almost a decade as under cover officer in the cia. this played well being able to represent the district very well. >> host: we'll talk about that in moment but if you were to travel one end of the district to the other a straight shot, how long would it take? >> guest: 1100 miles going 80 miles an hour. speed limit is 65. but if you go couple miles over they're okay. >> host: have you been pulled over? >> guest: i have. i have. first time my chief of staff in the district, important thing i my staff and the district, first time my chief of staff was driving we god pulled over. >> host: what did you tell the police officer?
>> guest: nothing. he said slow it down, slow it down. they were looking at to us say hey, be careful. it was great folks throughout the district. i don't know if he recognized me or not. but, they were, they were making sure we were being safe. >> host: you're also the first african-american republican since reconstruction to be elected guest guest yeah. >> host: how did that come about and why are you a republican? >> guest: look, it was funny getting up here to washington d.c. because the first question i got asked by mostly everyone, how did a black dude win a hispanic district right? what is interesting that when my parents my parents my dad originally from east texas. my mom grew up in indiana. they met in los angeles and got married and moved to san antonio in 1971. my father is african-american and my mother is white t wasn't in vogue to be a interracial couple in south texas in the early '70s. and what's great is now that
their youngest son is about to be, is a member of congress, right? and you know when they first moved to san antonio, they had difficulty buying a home. i'm representing my hometown. part of that people are not votes on color of your skin. on content of your character. people knew i would work hard to get things done. would i work across the aisle. i have experience and background that is unique. nobody up here has that. so for me, it is about it is about working hard. at the end of the day whether you're black brown or anything, people care about a couple of things. they want food on the table a roof over their head and want people that they love to be healthy and happy right? when you address those issues doesn't matter which community you're in, it will resonate with people. >> host: you're different obviously from the president in terms of parties but do you have a sense of his own background and what it was like for him to grow up in a similar situation
like you? >> guest: i'm aware, i'm aware. it is not just about he and i. there are a number of people that had this experience. it's great using it. you learn to be empathetic. you learn to excel in places where you're only person that looks like you. this was a skill very helpful to me when i was in the cia. so it is an honor to be up here. it is an honor to represent my hometown. like i said, i think it's a great example how texas has evolved and putting people in office because who they are and what they're going to do. >> host: as a graduate of texas a&m, one of premier schools and a lot of school pride being an aggie. what does that mean for you? >> guest: we have code of honor at texas a&m. aggies will not lie cheat or steal or tolerate those that do. if we had more of that kind of thinking up here in washington d.c. it would be a better place. i'm proud to be an aggie. i learned a lot about leadership
and representing people. i was student body president at a and m when the bonfire collapsed. we built a bonfire 100 feet tall and collapsed during building and killed 12 kids. in 1999 it was worst accident ever on college campus. to lead the aggie family at a dark time. i would give that experience up if those 12 kids were still alive. it solidified what it means to be part of the aggie family. we talk about the aggie network. i was able to leverage that in my run for congress. so it is a great school. it is awesome representing my alma mater and the texas a&m system has a school in san antonio which is relatively new. it is in the district. so it is pretty cool to actual represent part of my all mammate. >> host: for those who don't remember what happened, explain the circumstances that led to
the collapse. where you were when it happened and how you responded personally. >> guest: sure. this was what we did to show our burning desire to beat our rival, the university of texas and we, it is a multitiered bonfire. it is a couple of tons. it is gigantic. it is all student-run and student-built. when it was collapsed it was about, a there was a lot of rain. it caused the ground to shift. the center pole that held up the entire thing cracked. it caused spinning and hoop stress and the entire thing collapsed on itself. when it collapsed i was actually asleep. it happened a little bit after 2:00 in the morning. one of my dearest friends called me said, will, you probably should get up here. about 11 minutes after it collapsed i was on campus involved in all the aspects of it helping to rescue the 12
kids and dealing with the press and, also making sure loved ones knew where they could go to get more information about their sons daughters brother, uncles cousins. >> host: how did that tradition change after that incident? >> guest: it doesn't happen anymore. the year before that was last time bonfire burned. >> host: why student leadership, why did you decide to become student council president? >> guest: it was funny. i wasn't going to go to texas a&m i applied as backup. i was computer science major. i wanted to go to stanford. i got accepted to go to stanford and got pretty significant scholarship. i went to texas a&m i had counselor at high school big aggie, kept badgering me to go up for campus tour around visit. i had friends that lived there. okay, if i go to texas a&m for first it will you leave me alone?
i said yes. i went up for a tour to watch a football game and fell in love with the place. fell in love what we call the other education. opportunities to get involved. there is something special there at texas a&m. i decided to run for student body president because i had been involved on campus. i thought there were problems that needed to be fixed. my mama said you're part of the problem or part of the solution. i decided to run. my buddies who i knew i needed to help me, they said yes. so we decided to do it and i won. >> host: how did i had that train you for running for congress? >> guest: it was a big school. at time it was 45,000 students. that is undergrad. when you add graduate and number of professors and administrators, you're talking 75, 80,000 people. it taught me to how to work with a diverse group of people idealogically. it taught me the importance of
sticking to your prints pills. -- principles. a handful of individuals can change the world. it was a good test run. i never would have thought i was going to run for congress after that but it showed that we know how to get a message out and knock on doors. >> host: how do you approach the job being a member of congress and what is your routine here in washington and when you go back to your district? >> guest: sure. i ran for two reasons, all right? one to be a thought leader on national security and two, to be hen it comes to constituent relations right? we talk about the district. it is huge, 29 counties. 50% of the vote comes from san tone know. the counties are so far away from the major centers is they don't get represented. my title is representative, not a congressman. the way we spend a good deal of time we're here for thoughts mon
through thursday and tuesday through friday and back in the district every weekend. i try to fly out of san antonio two weekend a month. midland one weekend and el paso the fourth weekend of that month. to deal with that part of the district. we try to focus our legislative efforts on things that resonate or are important in the district. and are key in my background right? the fact i'm chairman of a subcommittee. i information technology with government oversight and reform is a great opportunity to leverage my experience and background. i have a degree in computer science from a and m. i did offensive cyber operations when i was in the cia. when i left the cia, lost my first-run for congress, partner in consulting firm and start ad cybersecurity company. i was able to use that to focus on four areas, private sir i.t. procurement, cybersecurity and information sharing and then emerging technology. so that's where we spend a good
deal of time because of that chairmanship. >> host: why is will hurd a republican? >> guest: i'm a republican because look, i believe in freedom. i believe in small government. i believe in having strong national defense. i believe in equal opportunity for all. these are all things that have always resonated with me. my dad likes to say he was the first black republican in san antonio. i tried to fact check that but i haven't been able to. i saw that in my parents my dad was salesman for 30 years when he retired from that job he and my mother started beauty supply and beauty school. i saw when it meant to build something from scratch and be rewarded for your efforts. these were experiences i had growing up. this is when i, i believe in. >> host: brother sisters? >> guest: i'm the baby of three. my sister is four years older than i am. my brother is five years old. they both live in san antonio
and we're really close. >> host: when you raised your hand and took the oath of office, what were your mom and dad thinking? >> guest: i knew my mom would be crying. my dad was proud. my dad is 82 years old. showed up at the capitol. he usually walks with a cain. showed up and didn't have his cane. i said, dad do i need to send someone to the hotel and get your cane? he straightened up real stiff. i'm in the capitol. i don't need a cane today. he walked without his cane for the entire day. i'm super proud. my parents always believed in me. they have always been my rock and my biggest supporters. it was really hitting home when i stood up and raised my hand and was able to see them up in the gallery. >> host: what was your biggest setback growing up or early in your career? >> guest: biggest? well, i think the biggest setback losing run for congress
in 2010. you know. i left the cia specifically to run. i was frustrated with the caliber of our elected leaders. my job was collect intelligence on threats to the homeland but also to brief members of congress. i briefed hundreds of members both parties all 50 states i was shocked by their lack of understanding of some basic issues that they were on committees for. and so i decided to run for congress. i didn't have a plan b. when we won we ran and won the first round. everybody was excited. and they said, wow. and everybody thought we were shoo-in to win the runoff. the other side, even was already sending their resume's out for further jobs. when we lost by 700 votes, i felt like, i had let everyone down all right? i knew, in my head that wasn't the case. in my heart i felt like all these people that never been involved in the political process before that were excited, i felt like i didn't pull it out for them.
it was hard t was tough. i didn't leave my house for a while. then i realized, then i had to figure out what was my plan b? i. interviewed with 75 people, all walks of life. i asked them. i was 32, if you were 32 again what would you do? if time and money wasn't an issue what would you do? their responses were, there was no great idea generated from that. but the father of one of my closest friends, my closest friends are these guys i've known since 13 years old said do something meaningful and hard. that is that is so simple. but that is kind of how i have lived my life since that. since that period. i realized most of my life i was always trying to do things that were meaningful and hard. so i learned a lot. i'm a better person. and i think that loss prepared me for where i am today. >> host: why did you decide to run again in 2014?
>> guest: the opportunity was there. i had fire in the belly, coming that close. realizing i had significant disagreements with the person in office and thought that person should be representing the person a little bit differently. i love my country. i ran for office, i had honor to serve my country almost a decade in the cia. i look at this serving my country in a different way. and the opportunity was there. the folks i needed to be part of the team said they were in for one more. so we decided to do it. and the rest is history. >> host: let's talk about the cia. you graduate from texas a&m. you get a job at the agency. what was your first position, what was the biggsest challenge and what did you learn from your job, your tenure there? >> guest: sure. my first job, i was 22 years old. i'm driving toyota 4runner from san antonio to washington d.c.
i stopped at a gas station and tv is on and uss cole was blown up and blown up in the gulf of aden by al qaeda. i remember thinking, i'm wondering if i will know anything that is going on there. after we go through our initial orientation i was desk officer for yemen. so i was the guy back at headquarters in langley. i'm sporting the -- supporting the men and women in our station which is the cia headquarters in sanaa, yemen. that was my first job. one of the biggest challenges while i was there was fighting the bureaucracy. all right? when i was in afghanistan i managed a lot of undercover operations. i felt like there were some rules and regulations that we were have being to use to do our jobs that were preventing us from protecting ourselves and doing the job that we were trained to do. fighting the bureaucracy within
kabul within cia, fighting bureaucracy back in langley was incredible challenge and in the end we won because we knew, you know, i had right experience and background and enough support to get that done but it was a great experience because guess what? that's what i'm doing here. most of my responsibility as a representative from this area is to fight the bureaucracy for those folks who need the bureaucracy fought it's that simple. and it was, it was a great lesson. and it was a great challenge. but, for me, what i learned in the cia it is filled with, you know god-fearing, red blooded patriotic men and women who are you know, trying to do the right thing to make sure that you and i can sleep well at night and that our families are safe. and that commitment to saying you know, nobody ever, when we got a tasking we never said oh we can't do that. yes was the answer. what is the question?
that can had-do attitude, that can-do ethos is something that permeated everything we did. something i also learned at texas a&m. it was refined further in the cia in something i always use now and come in handy. >> host: if a future president says we want you will hurd, to be cia director, is that a job you would undertake and how would you approach the position? >> guest: you know, that is a good question. it would be an honor to serve, right? it really would be. and, how i would approach the position is, you know, go back to the basics. you know the cia are the collectors of last resort. if you can't get a piece of information, you call in the cia to do that. you have to have very clear
goals and perspective. number of threats rin creasing we need more intelligence. problems with syria and iraq, we don't have enough on the ground human intelligence. part of that is we don't have enough people in the region right? so that is something where. my good friends ambassador ryan crocker, i think is one of the best things the foreign service has ever produced. he is at texas a&m running bush school. he says sometimes you need more pumps and wingtips on the ground that will prevent us from sending boots on the ground. if i was there i would be aggressive. would be in hard places and clear election priorities based on threats we're facing. >> host: yemen afghanistan langley, cia what worries you
as the most as a member of congress? what should americans be concerned about the most. >> guest: micro actors having macro impact right? this is where one person could have huge impact. who would have thought 11 people would have had the impact they did on 9/11? those are folks we have to worry about. isis is the, the talent they're attracting from around the world it is pretty significant. it is at higher levels or afghanistan or original wars in iraq ever were. what they're doing their ability to leverage social media to get messaging out is unprecedented. when i was in pakistan, afghanistan, chasing al qaeda and the taliban they would do
night letters. write a letter and leave them on people's doorsteps. you could only hit couple hundred people that night. but what isis is hitting tens of millions of people every day and getting their message out is very impressive and their ability to grow is very scary. when we look at cyber threats facing around the world it shifts, it is unbelievable. it is no longer about preventing someone from getting in. give me enough time i'm getting into your digital network, all right? the question becomes how do you detect it, how can you contain it and how do you kick people out? the number of people able to get into our sophisticated digital infrastructure is increasing exponentially as well. but the great thing is we have, smart, hard-working americans and intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies and civilian agencies keeping us
safe and protecting us from these threats. >> host: have to ask but the knife behind you. it looks pretty scary. where did that come from? guest guest is came from pakistan -- >> guest: it came from pakistan, that was kind of the award you were given for good service. it is adaptation of a gurka knife. the gurkas were a group of south asians that were fierce warriors right? and the saying always goes, if you ever pulled your gurka knife you can't put it back? the sheath without drawing blood. this is a variant of that gurka knife that was prevalent in pakistan. >> host: all of this, your career, your work made it difficult to have a relationship? you're still single. >> guest: yes it has. i was engaged once to a girl from north texas. when you come home say hey
honey, guess what, i work for the cia we're moving to pakistan, that has chilling effect on the relationship. but you know, it was the right choice for her and you know, i just haven't found the right person just yet. so i'm i do travel a lot. i do move around a lot. but i'm young enough. my parents have my parents have grandkids. so they're not pushing me too hard. >> host: members of congress you used to brief as a staffer, do they view you differently now that you're a colleague? >> guest: some of the ones i had probably, that caused me to run no longer, no longer exist. but here's what i will say. i have been shocked about how warm member to member relations are on both sides of the aisle. and the fact that people at that have been here, have a lot of experience have sought me out for my perspective and experience. that has been pretty fantastic.
>> host: what is the biggest learning curve for a member of congress including bells that go off from time to time? >> guest: i think the biggest learning curve how do you manage your legislative team, your district team, and your political team. right? those are three separate organizations and have to be managed that way. i realize a lot of my work up here is about responding to my constituents. if one person is having a problem in the district, i guarranty you hundreds of people across the country are. how do we take onesies and twosies to use them to fix a problem on a macroscale, right? that is how i think we can be even more effective representing our district and making sure we're fighting that bureaucracy for those folks that need it fought. >> host: are you where you expected to be at your age of
37? >> guest: i don't know. i don't know. my thing is, like i said before, i have learned to start doing things that are meaningful and hard, you know, for me it is about having a positive mental attitude. be honest to people and treat people with respect right? i taught that as very young age and i continue to do that now. so it is an exciting place to be. in order to represent my country and represent my hometown and fight for 800,000 people that need to be fought for. >> host: any thought of what else would interest you politically? >> guest: i'm interested in going back running a business again, starting something. for me, the next political objective is getting reelected right? there are a lot of folks that, are doubting my ability to do that. and you know, they have doubted me plenty, already and we know what we're doing. and we're going to prove everyone wrong once again.
>> host: congressman will hurd republican from texas. thank you for your time. >> guest: thank you. >> this evening here on c-span2 an on core showing of q&a. former abc news reporter and white house correspondent ann compton talks about covering presidents from gerald ford to barack obama. that begins at 7:00 eastern. atite booktv prime time. authors who have written about education, who wrote more than a score. at 9:00 eastern mary willingham and jay smith on the cheated, unc scandal, education of athletes and big-time sports. at 10:00 the author of the test. why our schools are obsessed with standardized testing but you don't have to be. here are some of our featured programs for this weekend on the c-span networks. on c-span2's booktv saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern on after words, president of americans
for tax reform, grover norquist says americans are tired of the irs and tax system. sunday night at 8:00, author susan butler on president franklin roosevelt and soviet leader joesph stalin allies during world war ii and unexpected partnership beyond the war. saturday night at 8:00 eastern on american history tv on c-span3, on lectures in history university of virginia's college of wise professor jennifer murray how civil war veterans reunions changed from the reconstruction era to present. sunday afternoon at 1:00, american history tv is live, from appomattox courthouse national historical park, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the confederate surrender and the end of the civil war. catherine hoke a former venture capitalist who found ad new york city based called the defy ventures, who help drug dealers and gang members become
successful entrepreneurs. she sat down with npr digit call tolt ture correspondent laura sydell. we begin with the museum's president introducing miss hoke and other panelists. this is about an hour. >> she has now taken that skill into this bold, new area which is helping men and women who were formerly in prison redirect that energy and their talents into restarting their lives as entrepreneurs. she began this remarkable work in texas in a project called, the prison entrepreneurship program. and in 2010 she founded the defy ventures in new york city to do the work you saw a minute ago. it is challenging work but the concept is very simple. men and women who have been incarcerated don't lack talent or skill simply because they have been in prison. to the contrary, give the right help coaching, support
training and investment, they can succeed as entrepreneurs as well as anyone who has the entrepreneurial spirit and so defy ventures seems very aptly named. catherine is going to be joined tonight by two very important people. one is ja imf flores who is actual entrepreneur in training. you will hear from him a bit. the other is npr's laura sydell, a great fend to the museum. this is her sixth appearance on our stage moderator. we're delighted to have her back. in 2015 we'll launch an app which is audio guide to our digital revolution experience downstairs. if you come and download the app and go through revolution you will hear laura sydell's voice because she is the official voice of our app now. i hope you come to take advantage of that in 2015. she is npr's digital culture correspondent.
so she is adding a little digital culture to the museum. we could use all we can get. please join me in welcoming catherine hoke and laura sydell. [applause] >> great to be here on this rainy night. so you know, i think we got a little bit of what defines from the videos we just got but what if you could just start out what is defy doing right now? how do you define this amazing venture that you created? >> sure. there are 100 million americans who have criminal histories and many of them developed pretty amazing hustling skills in their former drug dealing and gang leadership days. and so we recruit formerly incarcerated drug dealers and gang leaders and we transform their hustle from illegal ventures into legal
entrepreneurship. so we recruit people after they're released from prison to join up in defy. we recruit people like yourselves business people as their mentors and coaches and instructors. we have online training courses. we bring them together for events where we teach them entrepreneurship training, character development and employment readiness skills. we have "shark tank" style business plan competitions. they compete for $100,000 for startup funding in their businesses. >> people watching tv, in prison probably watched "shark tank." >> they get very inspired by that. we put them in real life shark tanks and incubate their businesses and watch them win. >> i guess you have a background in finance venture capital, not 15 years. you're 37. that means you -- >> thanks for putting my age out there. >> sorry. >> i don't mind. i used to work for venture firm
summit partners in palo alto being a call grad. i worked there and a private equity firm in new york. >> you were actually in texas when you first took a visit to a prison, is that right? this was a defining moment that where the seed for this whole thing was planted. >> i was living in new york which is where i live now and i was invited on a texas prison visit. i was invited there by another jpmorgan executive. when i was invited to go, i was like no thanks, why would i ever in million years do that? i had really rotten opinions of people who were incarcerated. but she convinced me that some of the greatest underdogs in america and some of the best redemption stories come out from behind prison walls. i accepted her invitation. i flew out to texas. and this is when i was 26 years old. and i thought that i was going on some kind of a zoo tour to
see a bunch of wild caged animals. instead what i saw was human beings who had screwed up and not all of them but many of them take ownership for what they have done. i could see that they were hungry for another chance in life but they didn't necessarily know where to go, like how to apply those skills because the only things they had seen modeled in their neighborhoods only successful men they had seen were drug dealers and gang leaders. and so in speaking with them wearing my venture capital hat i realized in my first prison visit i was not speaking with aspiring entrepreneurs but proven entrepreneurs. realizing for first time, those drug dealers and gangs their organizations are run by bylaws and they have board of directors and they have serious management skills and they understand sales, distribution and
marketing and one thing that they really sucked at was their risk management strategies because they all got busted. i asked myself what would happen if these guys were equipped to go la i never in a million -- go legit. i never thought i would wohk in this sector in a million years but i looked at this discarded talent pool. i left my incredible job in new york city at this private equity firm and moving to texas and starting what became known as prison entrepreneurship program, pep, in texas. >> this is amazing story that you were so moved to do this. and i'm amazinged too, sounds like you were able to have real conversations with the prisoners during this visit that really got you hooked. >> yeah. >> did you tell your phamly, hey, i'm going to texas to prison? >> everyone totally thought i had lost my mind. i actually, so, i packed up all
my stuff in a minivan and moved out. the first night that i arrived in texas i was broken into, all my stuff was stolen. and of course my family members see, that is what you get for working with bunch criminals. the guys i'm working with are still locked up. i don't know what you are talking about. i had gone all-in. at this point as 26-year-old i had $50,000 in my savings account. i had a nice padded 401(k), gave it all up starting my work because no one believed in the people out of prison could write business plans. but i had a vision and i did. i put it all in. i went completely broke and became a professional beggar, started asking supporters. >> you were on public radio as a profession. we do plenty of that. so it is amazing. started the program initially within the prison. how did that work? how did you manage to actually get the prison to say yes to this? and was it successful?
>> so pep, prison entrepreneurship program which is still going today is similar to defy. it was my first venture. basically we worked with people, men within the texas prison system, 80% of them had committed violent crimes one category people think is so unredeemable. we would teach them entrepreneur ship and conduct business plans competition. people would fly from around the world to serve as judges in our competitions. after they were released from prison we had an employment program. the employment rate was 98% we had for guys getting out. we recruited 7500 executives and mbas and supporters who would employ them and 6 of them actually started their companies -- 60. we had family reunification program. our recidivism rate was less than 5%. i'm very proud of what we accomplished there. >> amazing. also amazing i'm curious when you call up executives and asking them to come to
participate in this you got so many, sounds like yes enthusiastically. why did they say yes? what did you say to them? >> i wasn't calling them and saying hey i have this idea for you to come plant a tree or come hug a thug. i'm asking you to serve as a judge in our business plan competition. come roll up your sleeves and serve in a capacity that is your competency. you have been an expert stud at building a company. now teach america's biggest underdogs. do you believe in underdogs. is america the land of second chances. i tell them i know this is opportunity that is little off the beaten path. maybe it will give you some serious street credit and bragging rights at your next cocktail party. so they actually say yes. >> and what, you know, i'm sure this is something that has played out now over time for you, what is it like when executives walk into a room with people who are felons and they
meet up? i would describe as junior high dance. they separate, people with criminal histories are scared of executives. they're intimidated. the executives are afraid of the tear yo types of people with criminal histories. and so we are very intentional about breaking the ice to make sure it doesn't stay like junior high dance. so at very beginning of an event, welcome. defy style. everyone is looking at me some of you right now mean mugging me. that has to go away. stand up right now we'll hug it out. i want big bear hugs. no cheap little pats on the back. stand up it is 2014. 14 bear hugs. 14 13, 12. they take a seat. break the ice. hug 14 people and which go from there and do business. >> it is great. just vision of seeing high power
ed executives is -- >> it definitely works. >> now i do want to ask you i mean you had success in texas but you had some personal disasters in texas. you had to leave the program. it still exists. you were still pretty young. what happened? >> so, i along the lines, while i was building this up, i was married. i got married at age of 22. i was married until i was 31. so six years ago. i was divorced and that came unexpectedly to me at the time although looking back in hindsight i saw how many opportunities i missed in being a wife because i had this tunnel vision and building up my organization. and, so, being a divorced woman is not something that i ever imagined for myself. and, the wake of my divorce i made some really bad decisions that i regret to this day.
i ended up, i was so covered in shame and i ended up having some relationships with people who had been released from the texas prison system. so they were my own graduates. and, i knew that i knew better. one thing that did well in my crisis, that was very hard for me was that when asked about this i was honest about my shortcomings and mistakes. i was devastated when the news showed great interest in my mistakes. and i used to speak about my work and ask people, what would it be like if you were known for the worst thing that you have ever done? now this became my story. i was so ashamed of myself, not just for being divorced but then for making these mistakes and i tried to kill myself. this was five years ago. i had no vision. i lived for the work that i did.
and, having that taken away from me, i was forced by the texas prison system to resign. and, we had these 7500 supporters and i before the news went out i sent them a full disclosure letter, with my mistakes. these were to the people that i respected the most in the world. so to say hey, look how i screwed up. and then having the news just jump on that. . .